ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The audience in Abilene High’s auditorium earned a quick education in screen-time savviness during a free screening of documentary “Screenagers” Monday evening.
There will be a second screening of the documentary next Monday, February 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Cooper High School.
The film details the several ways phones can cause distraction in the classroom and is one that piqued the interest of school counselors about one year ago during a screening at Region 14.
“I had a group of counselors come to me and say we need to show this to families at AISD,” said Jennifer Seekins, the dean of students at Holland Medical High School and an organizer of Monday’s screening.
Seekins says while having access to the internet, friends and family and endless entertainment through a smartphone is pleasant, the devices can rewire the entire focus of a school day.
“We find that our kids are distracted by their social media accounts, the news, weather,” said Seekins,
Fifth-grader Riley Moore asked her parents if they could bring her to the night showing, jumping at the chance to learn how to get the most out of her schoolday.
“I was really looking forward to it. It’s not every day I get to see that stuff,” Moore said.
Her father Jeff Moore says his family already limits Riley’s screen time on phones and tablets in an effort to reduce the chance that face-to-face interactions will become less valuable to his daughter as she gets older.
“They get lost in their phone and forget the person sitting next to them. We want her to continue to make friends and have conversations with people in person rather than text,” said Jeff Moore.
And while some youngsters may protest to putting away their phones for awhile, young Riley appreciates the precious screen time she already gets.
“I’m happy with my choices because I still get to play games and talk to my friends,” said Riley Moore.